More than 700,000 square feet of mall is planned for Kihei. The largest mall in Hawaii. Honolulu, here we come. Indeed, a huge revenue producer in terms of taxes for the county and state, and potentially new jobs.
What's wrong? The phenomenal impact on our already overstressed and overtaxed environment, infrastructure and roadways.
And where does the water come from?
Sitting on Piilani Highway, the mall will share the roadway with the new school, 1,400 new homes in the R&T park, 2,000 new homes in the old "670" project, plus all the approved new development of Makena hotels and residences. Overwhelming the same poor Piilani Highway and no mention of real improvements so needed to facilitate the overused sewer system and injection wells, and forever changing the character of South Maui.
I won't argue the merits of the project. I will argue for needed forethought and improvements required to prepare for this impact. We cannot expect the same overtaxed, overused infrastructure and roads to support such growth. Talk about traffic? We can rival Honolulu in gridlock.
So, we must require the developers and the county to prepare. Widen and improve Piilani Highway for two miles on either side of the mall entrance. New sewers and sewage-processing facilities. Underground power lines, etc. We must plan for this if it's a reality.